Full name: Richard Paul Ashcroft
Date of birth: 11 September 1971
Place of birth: Billinge, England
Personality and influences
Ashcroft would have probably never been the Ashcroft we know if he had not such a dramatic childhood. Normal flow of events was broken by a tragic event - Richard lost his father when he was only 11 years old. On the emotional level Richard has never got over it.
His mother remarried. Richard's stepfather, a member of secret Rosenkreuz society, was not exactly a common person. His openminded views on subjects like human conscious and untraditional medicine could not have gone pass Richard's attention.
With his natural talents Ashcroft would probably always going to be a musician, but his childhood definitely pushed him in the pshychedelic direction. Being an introvert (according to his own word) Richard always found his escape from reality in music. Later it became his true passion, the only passion. Not fame, not money, but the music. This passion made him the unique person and a songwriter he is now.
Ashcroft and The Verve
Along with his school- (and soul-) mates McCabe, Jones and Salisbury Ashcroft created this "little band" in 1989. Richart Ashcroft is without any doubt the main driving force behind The Verve. Most of the songs are written and performed by Ashcroft. Yet there is a big creative difference between his solo musical project and The Verve. Somehow the "expanded" concious of the group members becomes one and allows them produce true masterpeices of music. Not just some music, but authentic sound making impact on human mind.
Some say The Verve makes them more high than drugs. Well I cannot personally verify that, but knowing that "The Drugs Don't Work" and being closely in touch with the music of The Verve I would easily believe this.
First records that The Verve made followed each other in rather high tempo. From 1992 to 1997 (only five years) the band produced an EP record with 5 singles and 3 full albums, one of which had also a "side two". Absolutely not bad taking in consideration the high quality of the tracks.
But everything has its price. The creative intencity, public acknowledgement, mass media, never stopping experiments of concious expanding, all that caused a lot of personal issues and health problems, leading to 3 break-ups within the same period of 5 years.
Yet according to the universal laws Ashcroft and his soulmates came together once more to make another genious album in 2008... and to break-up once more again. Let's hope this was not the last time The Verve broke up, if you know what i mean...
As solo artist Richard Ashcroft issued 4 albums. The last one "United Nations of Sound" he issued under a pseudonym "RPA & The United Nations of Sound". See more on his solo work here.
It must be said that there are noticible tracks in these albums, but Ashcroft has never been able to achieve the level of success that he achieved with The Verve. And this is another reason to hope that The Verve has not said their last words yet...
Next to come: TABS